US Presidential Elections : Hillary Clinton leads by 5 heading in to final two weeks

Washington, Oct 25 :  Hillary Clinton is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by five points as the presidential campaign heads into its final two weeks, with the Democratic nominee’s support just shy of the 50 per cent mark, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

Among likely voters, Clinton tops Trump 49 per cent to 44 per cent, the poll showed.

Clinton has expanded her edge among younger voters and non-whites, while Trump has boosted his support among the whites without college degrees who make up the majority of his supporters.

Clinton now stands at 53 per cent among voters under age 45, compared with 47 per cent in the previous CNN/ORC poll. In fact, the only age group where Clinton currently trails Trump is among those age 50-64, who back Trump by four points in this poll.

Clinton’s support has also ticked up a few points among non-whites — 72 per cent back her now vs. 69 per cent in a poll conducted just after the first debate in September, not a large enough change to be significant, but edges her margin over Trump among this group above 50 points.

Trump has gained a bit among white voters, edging up to 54 per cent in the new poll from 49 per cent support in the last poll. This gain is centred largely among white non-college voters, who break for Trump by a 62 per cent to 32 per cent margin, while white college grads continue to lean in Clinton’s direction, favouring the former secretary of state by 11 points.

According to the poll, the gender gap remains large, with Clinton holding a wide 12-point lead among women, topping Trump 53 per cent to 41 per cent among that group, while Trump edges Clinton by a narrow three-points among men, 48 per cent to 45 per cent.

Clinton tops Trump on issues including terrorism (Clinton +2), immigration (Clinton +3), nominating justices to the Supreme Court (+5) and foreign policy (+21). But the economy continues to be voters’ top issue, 91 per cent call it extremely or very important, the poll noted.

Despite Trump’s edge on the economy, the real-estate magnate trails Clinton on a related issue of empathy, with 49 per cent saying they felt Clinton would “stand up for people like you” compared with 44 per cent who think Trump would be better on that score.

Clinton also holds wide leads on having the better temperament to serve effectively as president (61 per cent to 32 per cent) and being better able to handle the responsibilities of commander in chief (55 per cent to 40 per cent).

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone October 20-23 among a random national sample of 1,017 adults, including 779 who were determined to be likely voters.

The margin of sampling error for results among the sample of likely voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

–IANS

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